An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Apples are a storehouse of powerful antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonols, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients contain heart-healthy and immune boosting compounds.
Apples are said to have originated from Kazakhstan in Central Asia. Today, there are over 7,000 different varieties of apples and China is now the major producer of apples in the world. Apples have been known since ancient times, from the biblical account of Adam and Eve who ate the "forbidden apple." In ancient Rome, apples were regarded as luxury fruits, and in Norse mythology a magic apple was believed to keep people young for eternity.
Munch on red apples regularly for a wide variety of health benefits, from strengthening your immune system to averting asthma. This table shows the main nutrients found in 100 grams apple fruit, and their health benefits.
Nutrients Found in Red Apples
|Nutrient||Health Benefit||Amount in 100g|
Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
Essential for the breakdown of fat. Maintains healthy mucous membranes.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Immune booster. Promotes energy production in the body.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Essential for the manufacture of red blood cells and sex hormones. Plays a key role in the breakdown of fats into energy.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)
Necessary for new skin cell formation.
Vitamin B9 (folate)
Help the nervous system function properly. Essential for healthy brain function. Aids in the production of the body's gentic material.
Strengthens the immune system and prevents free radical damage in healthy cells.
Bolsters the skin's UV defense.
Essential for the formation of platelets and the clotting of blood.
Essential for healthy bone and joint function. Affects the transmission of signals across cell membranes.
Essential for the formation of red blood cells.
Necessary for healthy teeth and bone formation, transmission of nerve impulses, detoxification, and energy production. Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Essential for maintaining fluid balance and normal blood pressure.
Essential for strong bones and teeth.
Important for hormone balance and protein formation.
Reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. Promotes regular bowel movements.
Fun Facts About Apples
- Apples come in a variety of colours, including lime green, golden yellow, burgundy, and chocolate brown.
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
- Apples aren’t true fruits! Botanically speaking, true fruits grow from the ovaries of the flower, yet apples develop from the receptacle of the flower.
- People in Turkey eat the most apples per person in the world.
Health Benefits of Red Apples
Now that we've looked at the rich nutritional content of red apples, let's move on to their health benefits.
1. Help fight tumours Studies have shown that apples help the body fight different types of cancer, including lung, breast, and colon tumours. They are rich in pectin, a potent dietary fiber, that safeguards the colon from cancer. Pectin shields the mucous membranes lining the colon, protecting them from exposure to harmful cancer-causing toxins and chemicals. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains that fresh apple extracts inhibited the growth of mammary tumours in rats. The more extracts the rats were given, the greater the inhibition. The study also found that phytochemicals in apples inhibited a significant inflammation pathway in human breast cancer cells.
2. Regulate diabetes The pectin found in apples helps regulate blood sugar levels by reducing sudden spikes and dips and transporting the sugar into the blood stream at a slower rate. Pectin also contains anti-inflammatory properties that reverse oxygen-free cells damaged by free radicals into anti-inflammatory cells that may help defend against infection. A study by researchers in the US, UK, and Singapore discovered that participants who consumed apples three times a week, as well as other fruits such as pears, blueberries and grapes, had a 7% lower chance of developing type two diabetes than those who didn't.
3. Healthy heart An important phytochemical, quercetin, found in red apples helps prevent blood clots as well as reduce the risk of atherosclerosis (build up of plaque in arteries that results in heart attacks). Quercetin also has an anti-inflammatory effect that can help heal the inflammations in the arteries.
4. Avert asthma Numerous studies have shown the link between increased consumption of apples and a decreased risk of asthma. Red apples contain powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals, as seen in the nutrient table above. These nutrients offer potent anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve inflamed airways, thereby guarding against asthma, related breathing problems, and general lung function.
5. Brain food Rich in boron, a potent mineral known to improve the electrical activity of the brain, apples improve the transmission of signals between neurons in the brain. They also stimulate brain cells, which is essential in maintaining a healthy and active nervous system. Nuts are also great brain foods. Toss a couple of nuts into your apple salad and maximize the brain-boosting health benefits that these foods provide.
A Note About Apple Skin
Should you eat the apple peel? Yes! Apple skin contains more antioxidants and nutrients than the flesh inside. Make sure to purchase organic red apples that aren't sprayed with chemicals to keep away pests. Even organic apples should be washed thoroughly with clean water before consuming.
6. Boost immunity Loaded with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and B-vitamins, apples strengthen the immune system and prevent allergies and common infectious conditions. The fiber in apples has anti-inflammatory properties and fight inflammatory conditions and boost immunity.
7. Apples for cholesterol Red apples are rich in flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that have anti-cholesterol properties. These help eliminate plaque that blocks arteries and helps fight hypertension. Pectin found in red apples prevents the absorption of the "bad" LDL cholesterol that clogs arteries and results in cardiovascular disease.
8. Weight loss Apples are great snacks for people who want to lose weight. They contain no saturated fat, making them perfect for snacking. What's more, apples have very few calories. One medium apple contains only about 70 to 80 calories. In fact, when the body is breaking down apple fiber during digestion, it uses up more calories than the calories that were originally in the apple. They can keep you full for a long time, helping to eliminate hunger pangs that can make you binge.
9. Preventing Alzheimer's Disease Quercetin, a potent antioxidant found in apples, is proven to protect brain cells from the free radical damage associated with degenerative diseases. A study shows how brain cells that were treated with quercetin had significantly less damage to DNA and cellular protein compared to cells treated with Vitamin C or those with no antioxidant exposure.
10. Good skin Apples are a rich source of Vitamins C, E and A. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production in the body and collagen is an important structural component for healthy skin. Vitamin A is also important for healthy skin, and is said to have properties that guard against skin cancer. Eat more apples regularly for a healthy, youthful glow.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2014 healthmunsta
allison on December 05, 2017:
I did not know apples do this much I am going to buy some today !!!!!
Lori on December 04, 2017:
Honey crisp apples are the absolute BEST!!!
Doug Bradford on December 03, 2017:
Great Helpful article I eat at least 1 apple daily.
thu nguyen on December 03, 2017:
Why the other website said apple is high sugar fruit
good work on October 21, 2017:
Mary Simas on January 12, 2017:
Stephen on February 24, 2016:
Kazakhstan is in Central Asia